So... Greater Dayton... our first ever sanctioned event... how did it go? I was planning to write about the experience all in one post but realized it was going to be way too long so I'll recap the first day today and the second day tomorrow. (Still way too long - Sorry!) But let me start with...
Stay tuned for XC recap tomorrow. :)
Apparently the polar vortex isn't quite done with us yet. It's no longer "polar" weather but it is still seriously making it chillier than normal. After a few weeks of weather in the 70s and 80s Saturday dawned nice and chilly at around 36˚. As we pulled into the park the clouds were ominously dark and sure enough just as we were saddling up it started to rain. But not just rain, mind you, it took me a sec to figure out why the rain was actually cold and OUCH! why is it hurting me? Oh because it is sleet/hailing. The sleet/hail didn't last too long thankfully but the rain stuck around for quite a while and by the time I went into my dressage test I was pretty darn cold although, my top half was pretty dry thanks to my see through fitted (child's size) rain jacket and waterproof helmet cover.
That leads to...
Dressage was so-so. Not as nice as we had at the KHP two weekends before but not too shabby especially considering the less than ideal conditions. I really only had one major problem I could not for the life of me keep a good hold of my reins. Apparently wet gloves and wet reins, even rubber reins, get very slick. So that made our downward transitions and one of our canter circles a bit sticky. In fact Loki blew past my halt at X and we ended up stopping somewhere between X and G but dang-it my reins would not stay put in my hands so every time I went to ask for a downward transition I literally had to reel my reins back in! (Although the judge did remark that the halt was nice and square and straight so that is a plus!)
Overall our score was a 37 to sit in third and only about 2 points or less than first place which was a pretty cool feeling. We had a few more fives than last time but also a few more sevens. The best thing was that for the first time ever I got a 7 on rider position and seat and correctness/effectiveness of aids. Holy cow!! I've never gotten above a 6 before and have been scored a 5 more times than I like so that was very exciting. The judge didn't leave any comments in that section, though. I felt like our score was pretty fair at least in my limited experience. Greater Dayton is a pretty darn small horse trial so the competition isn't quite as fierce as it will be in other places (I think) so our 3rd place is not something I expect to happen often or again at least in the near future but the cool thing is I feel like Loki really does have the inherit ability to win the dressage. We are so definitely not there yet but with more years of training he could do really well. He's not a 10 mover or anything but I bet he's a solid 7 maybe even an 8 when I can get him to really use himself.
Anyways, that was dressage. There was one casualty my pair of white dressage breeches. I'm pretty sure they will never be white again. My saddle bleeds when it gets wet. I'm assuming this is simply because it is not the most expensively made saddle on the planet. Does anyone else's saddle(s) bleed when it gets wet? Just one more reason to be super excited for my new saddle!
I was really nervous about stadium. We had a good three hours between dressage and stadium so I did get to relax for a little bit. I watched my trainer's jumping rounds and a few others. My sister and I walked my XC course and we got a bite to eat. The sun actually even came out... for a while.
Finally it was time to get ready for stadium (oh and it started raining again of course!) and I definitely had that heart in your throat feeling. It's funny, though, because even though I was as nervous as I've ever been for any event my reason for being nervous was entirely different. When I first started eventing it was all about the jumps and they looked so big and scary! But now it was all about can I get my horse around these jumps? How will he behave, will I ride like a complete moron? The jumps themselves honestly no longer intimidate me (much) but whether or not I could pilot my horse effectively that was very intimidating!
Anyways, I would give our stadium round a slightly above 50% if I were grading it. We had 9 jumping efforts with jump 5 being a 2 stride combination. Of those jumping efforts I would say 5 of them rode pretty well. I felt like we were mostly in sync over those five jumps. Jump 6 and 8 were both heading towards the trailer and "home" as Loki saw it so both of those jumps he got very flat and a bit quick and honestly while I didn't think he'd refuse I wasn't sure if we were going to go over the jump or simply obliterate it but thankfully we made it over. (I MUST REMEMBER TO ADD LEG!!! WHEN THIS HAPPENS--more on that later.) And, unfortunately, we did have one run out at the b element of jump 5. I really blame this on myself as I got us to the a element crooked to start with and I never got my eye up and on the b element nor was I anywhere near keeping us together between a and b. So, Loki saw the open door and took it. Now, my trainer will tell me that it really doesn't matter if it is my fault or his he is an event horse and he has a job to do and part of that job is covering my rear when I make mistakes. While that is true we are both still pretty green so I just gave him a little kick, we circled and he went right over it very nicely the second time. Sadly, that cost us 4 jump and 18 time penalties and we went all the way from 3rd to last place. Oh well, lol!
This post is already way too long so I'll end here but leave you with a few pictures of our little (mis?)adventure. No dressage pictures this time as my husband didn't make it out until much later in the day. I may get some later when the official photographer posts them in a week or two.
|Warming up for stadium|
|Waiting our turn|
|First jump of the course, I'm actually managing to look where I want to go.|
|While I really wish my position were better Loki looks super cute.|
|The second attempt of the fence we had the run out on.|
|Fence 6 was zoom zoom and quite ugly!|
Stay tuned for XC recap tomorrow. :)